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  • *BOJ keeps policy steady, as widely expected. TOKYO, July 15- The Bank of Japan maintained its stimulus program on Tuesday and stuck to its forecast that inflation will approach its 2 percent target next year, unfazed by recent data casting doubts over its scenario of an investment-led economic recovery.

  • BAGHDAD, July 15- Iraq's army launched an assault Tuesday morning to try to retake the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, an officer and a soldier involved in the attack told Reuters. The attempt to retake Tikrit, which fell on June 12 to Sunni insurgents led by the extremist Islamic State group, began two-and-a-half weeks ago.

  • TOKYO, July 15- Japan's Nikkei share average climbed to a 1-1/ 2- week high on Tuesday after Citigroup's strong earnings and a merger and acquisition deal in the U.S. healthcare industry lifted sentiment. The Bank of Japan's policy meeting outcome got a muted reaction from the market.

  • Iraqi army launches new assault on Tikrit -sources Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 | 2:14 AM ET

    BAGHDAD, July 15- Iraq's army launched an assault Tuesday morning to try to retake the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, an officer and a soldier involved in the attack told Reuters. The attempt to retake Tikrit, which fell on June 12 to Sunni insurgents led by the extremist Islamic State group, began two-and-a-half weeks ago.

  • *Geopolitical risks in Libya, Iraq support prices. Several soldiers were killed and aircraft were damaged in Libya on Monday, as rival militias in the OPEC nation fought for control of Tripoli's airport in the worst violence for six months. "The market is still concerned about Iraq and Libya.

  • ISRAEL APPROVES EGYPTIAN-PROPOSED GAZA TRUCE- ISRAELI SECURITY CABINET STATEMENT.

  • July 15- The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating possible pricing coordination among music publishing companies as it reviews the decades-old rules that govern the cost of licensing songs, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

  • SHANGHAI, July 15- China's yuan fell slightly against the dollar for the second day on Tuesday, pushed down by corporate demand for dollars after the central bank set another weaker midpoint, traders said.

  • HONG KONG, July 15- China shares finished a choppy Tuesday morning little changed, with investors taking profits on recent outperformers, while Hong Kong markets rose again, riding on continuing money inflows. The Hang Seng Index was up 0.5 percent at 23,462.24 points.

  • Brent hovers near $107 on Libya, Iraq concerns Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 | 12:26 AM ET

    *Geopolitical risks in Libya, Iraq support prices. Several soldiers were killed and aircraft were damaged in Libya on Monday, as rival militias in the OPEC nation fought for control of Tripoli's airport in the worst violence for six months. "The market is still concerned about Iraq and Libya.

  • July 14- Microsoft Corp is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years as the software maker looks to integrate Nokia Oyj's handset unit, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the company's plans.

  • WASHINGTON, July 14- President Barack Obama told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday he wants U.S.-Chinese relations defined by more cooperation and a constructive management of differences, during a phone call in which Iran and North Korea were discussed.

  • *Fed chief to testify to Congress on Tuesday, Wednesday. TOKYO, July 15- The dollar edged up against the yen on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan tweaked its growth forecast lower, although currency moves were small as investors waited for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's congressional testimony later in the session.

  • TOKYO, July 15- Japanese government bond prices were mostly unchanged across the curve on Tuesday, with a bounce in Tokyo shares stalling a recent surge that took yields to the year's lows. The bond market's reaction to the Bank of Japan holding pat on monetary policy was limited, as the outcome had been well anticipated.

  • *Oz Minerals, PanAust, see full yr copper output at higher end of range. SYDNEY, July 15- Shanghai copper fell to its lowest in nearly two weeks on Tuesday and dragged down London copper, with traders who follow chart-based strategies selling as a month-long rally appeared to sputter.

  • FORTALEZA, Brazil, July 15- On the eve of the signing of a deal to launch a joint development bank, the BRICS nations have still not agreed on where the lender will be headquartered, a senior official involved in the talks told Reuters late on Monday. The five nations are Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa.

  • SHANGHAI, July 15- Major Chinese banks have temporarily suspended a yuan remittance service after a state broadcaster accused the country's fourth biggest lender Bank of China of allowing wealthy Chinese to launder money offshore through the scheme, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

  • July 14- Microsoft Corp is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years as the software maker looks to integrate Nokia Oyj's handset unit, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the company's plans.

  • TOKYO, July 15- The Bank of Japan maintained its stimulus program on Tuesday and stuck to its forecast that inflation will approach its 2 percent target next year, unfazed by recent data casting doubts over its scenario of an investment-led economic recovery.

  • BEIJING, July 15- Chinese banks lent a much stronger-than expected 1.08 trillion yuan worth of new yuan loans in June as Beijing steps up efforts to stimulate the world's second-largest economy.